Nature vs. nurture
In regard to "A weighty matter in pregnancy" (article, Nov. 2, Science & Medicine page), I have to admit, I don’t buy it.
Of course children get genes from their parents. We are put together by a combination of our parents’ genes. We then will have many of the characteristics our parents had. This is nature. What we do with those genes, lifestyle habits, etc., is nurture.
We learn more from how our parents act than from what they gave us genetically. If we see our parents sit down and eat a bag of potato chips every night after dinner, then we are more likely to do that. At the same time, if we see our parents eating healthy and being physically active, then we are more likely to follow that lifestyle.
There may, in fact, be a set of genes that allows our bodies to gain weight faster, but that is dependent upon what we do with our bodies, daily activity, eating habits, etc. Instead of relying on a magic "obesity-blocking supplement" or expensive surgery, I would encourage people to try the method proven through generations of time: portion control and daily exercise.
Staff Sgt. Daniel HanksCamp Taji, Iraq